I reviewed the first Oura ring back in October 2017 and was really impressed by the first generation device. I recall receiving an email from Oura asking me what I would like to see in the new ring and I remember writing back quite apologetically, saying something along the lines of:
I know this is unrealistic but I would like the ring to be:
Smaller form factor, so it looks like a normal ring
Battery life that lasts several days rather than just about 2 days (at a squeeze)
Additional biometrics to track additional biomarkers
Changes to the Oura ring
So, when the ring was first announced for pre-order in November 2017, I was absolutely gobsmacked to see that Oura had been able to create a ring that was much smaller, the battery life lasts 5-6 days and it has multiple colours. No additional biometrics for now but I’ve heard that in the future the possibility of on the spot HRV measurements. The engineering that must have gone into this is phenomenal because to increase the battery life by 2-3 times and also reduce the form factor literally blows my mind.
The team at Oura announced the ring and welcomed pre-orders and whilst they had issues fulfilling the orders, they kept quality at the heart of the rings and rather than rushing out defective devices, they slowed down production. A wise move. It was also a nice touch in the way that they looked after the people who invested in the Gen 1 and they were rewarded with a free ring if they referred two people who went on to buy a ring.
How would I compare the two Oura rings?
Much of what I wrote in my first review still stands, in terms of the functionality of the ring and how it really helps me focus on my activity, readiness and sleep. The smaller form factor looks better but doesn’t strike the same conversation as the Gen 1 did. I would often have people commenting ‘nice ring’ or they would start asking questions as to what it was. The best question I’ve been asked is ‘have you had your dead grandmother made into a ring?’ – bizarre! In my opinion, the biggest change for me is a behavioural one and a change in focus. The problem with the first generation ring was that it needed charging so often, that I would either leave it at home when I went to the office or it would be charging and I would forget to put it on before bed. This resulted in far too many gaps in my data and I was unable to spot any reliable trends. It wasn’t the end of the world but I couldn’t quantify (reliably enough) the impact my habits were having on my performance. However, the new ring has changed all that. Now that the battery can last 5-6 days, I’m able to charge the ring less often and I now set an alarm to take it off charge, which has given me reliable data points and helped me really focus on a few things.
This is what I’ve learnt from the new ring and what I have changed:
- My deep sleep is very poor if I am exposed to LED lights (overhead, lamp or devices) at night. The odd night doesn’t make a dramatic difference but gets worse over successive nights. I need to wear my Blue Blocking glasses before bed and turn the lights to orange from 9pm and this shifts my deep sleep from 25 mines to 75 mines +.
- If I eat a meal after 8pm, my resting heart rate takes a long time to settle at night and this in turn impacts my readiness score. My resting heart rate can be at its lowest point at 6am in the morning and it should reach this point at 3am. If I can’t eat by 8pm, I now won’t eat until the next day.
- Alcohol destroys my sleep quality and resting heart rate, not only in terms of the timing but also the lowest rate, it can be as much as 10-15 beats per minute higher all evening. When I drink, I’m now much more conscious as to how much I drink and my plans for the following day and how it will impact my overall readiness.
- Since I dialled in my diet and I take a stack of supplements each day, I haven’t been ill in 4 years. However, with a 9 year old at home I do occasionally get a sniffle or sore throat which I take care of before it starts to turn into a full blown cold or flu. The body temperature monitoring at night gives me insightful data because if my body temperature has risen, I take the same protocol even if I don’t have symptoms. It’s a great early warning signal.
I recommend the Oura Ring to all of my clients and those who have bought it, love it.
Nick Powell is the founder of Stronger Self and he works with entrepreneurs and senior leaders to enable them to take their personal and professional performance to the next level.
Nick’s approach uses cutting edge tools and techniques from the worlds of biohacking, productivity, anti-aging and neuroscience; harnessing the exciting intersection between biology and technology.
Nick has developed his Peak Performance Coaching Programmes to enable his clients to deliver extraordinary results across all aspects of their personal and professional lives.
He runs his Coaching sessions face to face in London & Surrey and across the World via Zoom.